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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Sins of a Solar Empire
Sins of a Solar Empire

The Vasari enemy isnt an enemy at all, but a Vacuum Metastability Event
The Vasari were toying around with phase inhibitors or nano-engineering spacetime and they accidentaly caused a metastability. This universe has phase space, so it may very well be expanding faster than light using that. What can drive a race capable of enslaving anything in the universe mad? The unstoppable approach of a new universe where all the fundamental laws of reality are rewritten and everything that once was is unmade.
  • They didn't cause the metastability: if the most recent conclusions about the Higgs Boson hold true, the new universe could simply be a spontaneous occurence

The Vasari enemy is an army of rogue AI constructs
Between the Flotilla fleeing from the Geth in Mass Effect and the Colonial Fleet legging it from the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica, the Vasari story has some strong precedent resonance.
  • Considering the fact the Vasari make heavy use of nanotechnology, this sounds plausible at first, but when you really think about it long enough, it is pretty unlikely. Only a single Vasari warship ever survived contact with whatever this enemy is, with the ship's crew was driven made with fear. Think less Cylons/Geth and more along the lines of Cthulhu and the Elder Gods. Whatever the Vasari are running from ain't pretty and is far more dangerous than anything you or I could fathom.
    • Ah, so it's the Reapers, then.
      • Once again, probably not. The Vasari use nanotechnology all the time. Getting bit in the ass by it wouldn't drive anyone insane, though it might be slightly surprising at first. If we humans who haven't even begun to master nanotech can see its possible dangers, so can the Vasari. They've probably already figured out how to root out that nasty "destroy all life" bug. Anyway, the Reapers are basically a race of ancient sentient capital ships, little more. A reaction to them would be more along the lines of "oh shit, we're f***ed" as apposed to clawing one's eyes out. The Reapers barely manage a collective BOSD among the Citadel races, coming nowhere near mind rape territory. Yes Reapers are big, bad, and powerful, but they are still perfectly acceptable within a reality filled with space battleships. The Vasari are up against a big unknown, something that violates their views on reality so totally that it drives them mad. This troper stands by his original claim: the Vasari are running from something with powers beyond imagination; something having more in common with a black hole, supernova, or pulsar than a simple armada of warships.
      • Now, this is a late entry, but given the timeline for these posts, it's pretty clear that at *least* this is obsolete, and the above Troper *seriously* underestimated the power the Reapers are capable of. Especially given the time lapse involving at *least* Mass Effect 3 coming out which shows that the Citadel races *aren't* exactly limited to a collective BSOD. It also plays up the Eldritch part of them. Yes, a setting featuring massive numbers of massive spaceships means that huge sentient capital ships aren't outside of reality as the Citadel species understand it, but the Reapers do *plenty* more than just that. Are the Readers the Vasari's enemy? No, not really for obvious reasons. But their MO is a lot more powerful than *just* being really old, really sentient, really big star ships.
      • The mad crew does fit with Reaper indoctrination though.
      • I'm not taking these particularly seriously, obviously, but as attempt number 3, I can think of a force of nature capable of driving its opponents into a frenzy with fear: the Oncoming Storm. Or the Doctor to his friends. While in recent episodes of Doctor Who he's viewed with almost supernatural fear by some of his enemies, it's implied by River Song that he'll grow still more terrifying to them as he continues to battle the evils of the universe.
      • How about the Zerg swarm. The Vasari might have trouble wrapping their minds around a huge swarm of alien locusts devouring everything in their path.
      • Or the Tyranids. Or the Necrons.
      • If we're doing 40K, Eye of Terror, anyone? Maybe the Vasari made the same mistake as the Eldar.
      • I was thinking the whole "one ship left, heavily damaged and driven mad" sounded pretty Chaotic. One must wonder if the remaining ship had its captain shouting ++++KILLFRENZY KILLFRENZY KILLFRENZY KILLFRENZY KILLFRENZY++++ endlessly into the comms. Given the Vasari are all about slavery and control, though, they're not especially Chaotic. They're actually more like the Imperium. However, they have a mastery of phase space - basically, the Warp. Perhaps Tzeentch had something go Just as Planned?
      • Or maybe the slave races rebelled and used similar weapon to the advent and drove that ship mad.

The Vasari enemy is a group of rogue Advent
Their minds have become so alien, they are Cosmic Horrors in all but appearance. They are also insanely powerful. For all we know, it could be a single ship. Now THAT would be terrifying.
  • Doesn't work. The Vasari were attacked 10,000 years ago, the Advent were only exiled a thousand years ago. Could be a similar set-up from within their own society though.
    • Actually, the intro stated they arrived ten years prior to the game.

the Vasari enemy is the Elder Things
  • the Elder things and Shoggi/ Shoggoths (what's the plural for those nasty gobs of protoplasm anyways?) are quite resilient. if they can survive unaided in space, I'm pretty sure they can royally fuck up the Vasari. besides, it would be pretty scary to watch 999 of your comrades ships being eaten by gobs of sentient tar from the ass-end of sanity and reason.

The Vasari are a lost splinter colony of the Ancients
  • Think about it. Subspace functions similarly to Phasespace (minus the wormholes), and the Vasari and Ancients both developed the means to travel through Phasespace and Subspace, respectively. Also, the Vasari had conquered and enslaved other less-advanced races just as the Ancients did. Perhaps the Vasari were refugees that had escaped the Shivan incursion and fled to the Inner Ring of the galaxy. They had developed Phasespace technology possibly because they had lost Subspace capabilities. The fall of their empire was probably because of a Shivan fleet that had tracked them to where they had fled, and it is the Shivans that have forced them into a nomadic state.

The Vasari enemy is the Xel'Naga hybrid from Starcraft II
  • It all adds up. Monstrously powerful abominations capable of snuffing out whole civilizations? Check. Mind-raping psionic powers that could drive Vasari warriors mad in seconds? Check. Advanced spacefaring capability, allowing them to chase the Vasari across the stars? Check (the Xel'Naga are able to build giant interstellar worldships). Hell, the TEC are probably just long-lost Terrans, and the Advent are human psionics descended from rogue Ghosts/Spectres. The mysterious Phasejump Inhibitors are leftover Xel'Naga tech that are inadvertently drawing the enemy right to the Vasari...

The Vasari enemy is either Getter Emperor or Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

The Vasari enemy is a cosmic-scale version of Leliel

Think about it. Planets vanishing? Ships becoming Lost Forever? Survivors being driven batshit insane? It ticks all the boxes.
  • Its vague enough to be a lot of things

The Vasari enemy is the Suul'ka.
They'd totally fit. Not to mention it could lead to a crossover between two great 4X games...

The Vasari enemy is corrupting the Advent.
They know the Vasari will run away if they get close so they're trying to twist the TEC and the Advent into finishing their job for them. While they don't need to manipulate the TEC since the Vasari are invading their space and the TEC is already defending, the Advent need a little 'help' to act how the Enemy wants. This is what caused the Unity to fracture - The 'Loyalists' are being corrupted by the Enemy while the Rebels, realizing this on some level, are trying to get back to what the Advent used to be.

The Vasari enemy is a necromorph pandemic.
Sins of a Solar Empire is the future of the Dead Space universe. A branch of the Unitologists have become the Advent, and the Vasari enemy isn't one unified force, rather it's a combination of Marker-induced madness and necromorph outbreaks.

The Vasari enemy is the same race that made the Hyperspace Inhibitors
None of the three races understand even the basic principles of the things, they're just copying something the Vasari found abandoned in another region of space.

The Vasari is running from the Spehss Mahreens of the God Emprah! They have messed with the wrong humanity.
The Imperium of Man lost what is currently known as the TEC during the Age of Strife, and has come to reclaim them, killing the Xenos Vasari with a vengeance. The Angry Marines had a fratparty on a Vasari warship, causing insanity from the horrors within.

The Vasari enemy is... the Vasari
All the Vasari we know are from a single colony that lost contact. As it happened, it wasn't some Eldritch Abomination, but rather a coup d'etat using new weapons, including one that can drive enemy ships insane. By now, the rebels have taken over, and soon the Vasari Empire will arrive.

There will one day be a Sins of a Solar Empire Wild Mass Guess that doesn't concern the Vasari enemy
* Confirmed! See below.

So why were the Advent exiled? In the original game's opening cut scene, the narrator speaks of "a sinful society of deviants", there's a picture of what appears to be naked person hanging in some kind of creepy suspended animation. From what we can tell, The Advent are a trans humanist, Matriarchal Hive Mind. If Seeker vessels' voice actors are any indication, The advent start adding techological bits to their kids right from birth. Heck the game manual flat out tells you they do this to their children's brains to give them Psychic Powers. Most people in real life would find any kind of experimention on kids horrific. Assuming that the Pre-TEC worlds are patriarchal, Moral Guardians go apeshit and start a massive hate campaign to have the cult extinguished. Since children are involved, this creates Unfortante Implications, plenty of fuel to build strawmen to attack the cult with. With their dicks threatened by this Borg like society of superwomen and children, they exile them. They don't outright kill the Advent because they're still humans, besides the powers that be have to prove their moral superiority over the cult. Naturally pissed off by this, the Unity takes their shit Up to Eleven and become what we know them as today.

The TEC are the real villains, even worse than the Advent or Vasari

While the Advent are zealots to their cause of revenge and psionic augmentation, and the Vasari are driven to desperation to acquire resources needed to escape the threat chasing them, both of their acts of evil and notoriety pale in comparison to the megacorporation-led TEC and what it is capable of.

The TEC who regularly nukes worlds as standard planet-invasion tactics. The TEC who are willing to grind their enemies down through sheer weight of numbers regardless of losses. The TEC who throw conscripts and untrained recruits into hastily built ships without even standard military training and organization unless the situation warrants the economic expense. The TEC who developed the Novalith Cannon, which amounts to a planet-scale FTL nuke cannon, and then are considering DEREGULATING it to build even more. The TEC who consider the ultimate weapon to win the war is a bomb capable of supernova-level output.

It is a noted omission that the TEC's society is not discussed even as detail is given on Advent augmentation and the reasons behind the Vasari's evacuation and strip-mining of entire star systems.


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